Search This Blog

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Meal Plan: 1/30 - 2/5

We hope this post finds each of you happy and healthy.

Well, I don't think I succeeded at the challenge Mark threw me last week, SORRY!  This week, I ventured out of my normal website haunts for our recipes.  I started looking at food blogs and found some fantastic ones.  This new venture all started from a FB post about chocolate chip covered oreo cookies.  So, I hope you enjoy this week's food.  

If you have family recipes you would like to share with us, I'm more than happy to post and send you a shout out.  Please send the link to your family and friends.  

Enjoy your week, Be thankful for your blessings both big and small, Love your family, and don't forget to play with your food!

Szechuan Pork

 Source: My Recipes via Cooking Light
  • 6  ounces  soba (buckwheat) noodles, uncooked
  • 2  teaspoons  dark sesame oil
  • 1  (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 2-inch strips
  • 1  tablespoon  chili garlic sauce
  • 1  teaspoon  bottled ground fresh ginger
  • 3/4  cup  red bell pepper strips (about 1 small pepper)
  • 1/4  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1  tablespoon  peanut butter
  • 3/4  cup  (2-inch) diagonally cut green onions (about 4 green onions)
  1. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork, chili garlic sauce, and ginger to pan; stir-fry for2 minutes. Add bell pepper to pan; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add broth, soy sauce, and peanut butter to pan. Reduce heat to low; cook for 1 minute or until sauce is slightly thick. Stir in onions. Serve over noodles.

Southwest Shredded Chicken 3 Bean Chili

Source: Picky Palate
  • 4 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 14 oz cans chicken broth
  • 16 oz can black beans, drained
  • 16 oz can red kidney beans, drained
  • 16 oz can canelli beans, drained
  • 15 oz can Muir Glen Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Tabasco hot sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon cumin
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  1. Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Saute onion and bell pepper until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and shredded chicken breast; cook for 1 minute then stir in chicken broth, beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, hot sauce, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes then reduce heat to low and simmer until ready to serve.

Chorizo and Italian Sausage Stuffed Shells

Feeds: 2 9×13 inch baking dishes (An Army & great for freezing!)  You could 1/2 the recipe also. 

Serving Suggestions: Salad, Garlic Bread

Source: Picky Palate
  • 2 boxes jumbo shells
  • 1 lb Sweet Italian Sausage
  • 1 lb chorizo
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 26 oz cans whole tomatoes (pulsed in food processor until smooth)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 Cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 15 oz containers of Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 Cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2 Cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook pasta shells according to package directions. Drain and set aside. I brush mine with olive oil to keep them from sticking.
  2. Place chorizo and sausage into a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until browned and crumbled. Drain and return back to skillet. Stir in garlic over medium heat for 1 minute then add in red pepper flakes, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer.
  3. Place olive oil into a medium skillet over medium heat. Add in spinach and garlic; cook until wilted down. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Stir in Ricotta, Parmesan, Mozzarella, egg, salt and pepper; mix well.
  4. Spoon about 1/2 Cup pasta sauce into bottom of 2 9×13 inch baking dishes. Spoon ricotta filling (about 2 Tablespoons) into each cooked shell then place shells seam side down into baking dishes. I think I filled 2 9×13 inch baking dishes plus a 7×11 inch with this recipe. Top shells evenly with sauce then shredded cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and hot.

Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup from Le Cellier

Serves: 8-10 small bowls
Source:  Disney Food Blog

This recipe is in honor of the fact we were supposed to be in Disney this week.  Originally we were supposed to be in Disney the week of 2/7, but then it moved to 1/ it is moved to the middle of May...long story!  Here is a dish I've heard rave reviews from and was told I have to have when we are in Epcot.  I hope I can buy it as a snack or on the quick service meal plan, but I'm not thinking this is possible....

Notes from the source:
  1. If you are unable to find white cheddar, go with yellow. If you don’t have a dark beer, go with a lighter one. Will there be flavor variations? Of course, but I always think it is better to COOK than NOT TO COOK!
  2. Scalding milk is to bring it to an “almost” boil to keep the proteins from forming on the surface and keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pot.  let me tell you that I found it unnecessary. As long as your ingredients are room temperature and not cold, you will be fine. I know this because Disney’s other published version of this recipe does not call for scalding and I have successfully made it that way.
  3. Bacon is unbelievably tough to cut.  We need to freeze it for a little while — so put the bacon in the freezer until it is almost frozen, or freeze it and allow it to partially thaw. This puts it into a state where we can cut it finely with some good sharp scissors without much hassle. 
  • ¼ pound of Smoked Bacon (finely chopped)
  • 1 Medium Red Onion (finely chopped)
  • ½ cup Celery (finely chopped)
  • ½ cup Carrot (finely chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons All Purpose Flour
  • 3 cups of Whole Milk (scalded)
  • 2 cups of Chicken Stock (scalded)
  • 12 ounces of Grated or Shredded White Cheddar Cheese
  • 3 dashes of Hot Sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • ½ cup Beer (Dark Ale preferred)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped chives for garnish
  1. Saute’ the bacon in large, heavy-bottom, non-reactive soup pot (Glass or stainless steel) over medium heat until crispy. 
  2. Add Onion, Celery, and Carrots and cook until onions are translucent and bacon has crisped.
  3. Sprinkle in Flour and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Stir in Milk and Stock, a little at a time, blending well to ensure that there are no lumps. Bring the liquid to a boil, cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.  
  4. Remove from heat and whisk in the Cheese, Hot Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce and Beer. Season with Salt and Pepper to taste. 
  5. Sprinkle with chives and serve with some crusty bread.

Slow-Cooker Brisket Sandwiches

Source:  Food Network
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 5-to-6-pound first-cut or flat-cut brisket, cut into 3 pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 12-ounce bottle stout beer
  • 4 stalks celery, cut into large pieces
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 brioche or other rolls, split open and toasted
  • Coleslaw, for serving
  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the brisket with salt and pepper, then brown on all sides, about 10 minutes, adding the garlic in the last 2 minutes. Transfer the meat and garlic to a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker. Pour the beer into the skillet and simmer 30 seconds, scraping up the browned bits from the pan; add the beer mixture to the slow cooker.
  2. Nestle the celery around the meat and add the brown sugar, tomato paste, vinegar, mustard, soy sauce, bay leaves and paprika. Stir, then cover and cook on low 8 hours or on high 6 hours. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes, then thinly slice.
  3. Serve on brioche halves with coleslaw; drizzle with the cooking liquid.

Breakfast Tostadas

Serves: 2
Source: Sing For Your Supper

  • 4 flour tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled into pieces
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4-5 slices jarred jalapenos, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • salsa, for serving
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tortillas on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 5-7 minutes, until slightly crisp. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Place the eggs in a large bowl and whisk until homogeneous. Stir in the cooked bacon, peppers and salt and pepper. Pour into hot skillet and stir continuously until eggs are completely cooked and scrambled (about 5 minutes).
  3. Lay two tortillas on each plate. Top with the scrambled egg mixture, shredded cheese and salsa.

Caramelized Onion and Sweet Pepper Turkey Burgers

Serves: 4
Source: Picky Palate
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Cup chopped sweet peppers (I get the big bag from costco, they are mild and delish)
  • 4 Jenni-O prepared Turkey Burgers, seasoned
  • Light Mayonnaise
  • Mustard
  • 4 Orowheat Sandwich Thin Buns
  • 2 Cups fresh Baby Spinach Leaves
  1. Preheat grill to medium high heat.  Place oil into a large skillet over medium heat.  Saute onions and peppers for 7-10 minutes or until softened and golden.  Reduce heat to low.
  2. Grill turkey burgers until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side depending how thick each burger is.  Lightly spread mayonnaise and mustard onto buns and place burgers on bottom bun.  Top burgers with spinach and caramelized onions and peppers.  Close with top bun and eat!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Meal Plan: 1/23 - 1/29

We hope this post finds each of you happy & healthy.

We had a great week of food.  Mark has challenged me to make this week as good or better.  I hope I have!  Our favorites were: Herb Chicken with Honey Butter, Cowboy Steak with Coffee & Chili Rub & the French Onion Soup.  We didn't make the pizza, so we can't comment on this recipe.  I'll have to make it in the future. 

Enjoy your week, Be thankful for your blessings both big & small, Love your family, and don't forget to play with your food!

Burger Night

We will probably do a BBQ Goat Cheese Turkey Burger.  I have goat cheese in the frig which needs to be eaten. 

Rent a movie from redbox for a great night in.  Don't forget to search for redbox codes for a free night.

Dry-Rubbed Rib-Eye

This is a family favorite which we haven't had in several months.
Prep: 10 min, Inactive Prep: 24 hr+, Cook: 15 min
Serving Sides:   Roasted Carrots & Salad
Source: Anne Burrell @ Food Network 
  • 3 tablespoons salt (to taste, Kosher salt is a healthier option than regular table salt.  If using Kosher salt, use less than 3 T)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pulverized crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons pimenton (Smoked Spanish Paprika)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Oil, for brushing grill
  • 2 (22 to 24-ounce) bone-in rib-eye steaks (with a good amount of marbling)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

  1. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Use your fingers to make sure that all of the ingredients are evenly distributed. Rub the outside of each steak generously with the rub. Wrap each steak in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, 2 to 3 days is better. This will make the steak taste like it has been aged.
  2. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Brush and oil the grill to loosen and remove any crud. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator about 20 to 30 minutes before cooking. Right before cooking remove the plastic wrap and lightly oil the steaks. Place the steaks on a very hot grill to put a char on both sides of the steak. 
  3. When both sides of the steak have become well charred move the steak to a cooler part of the grill to continue cooking for 6 to 7 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove the steak from the grill and let rest in a warm spot for 7 to 8 minutes. Cut the steak off the bone and slice on the bias across the grain. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve immediately.

Chicken-Tortilla Pie

Prep Time: 18 minutes, Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)

  • 2  cups  shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 1/4  cup  Fresh Salsa
  • 1  cup  spicy black bean dip
  • (8-inch) multigrain flour tortillas
  • 1/2  cup  (2 ounces) reduced-fat shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Corn, Peppers, Jalapeno (optional)
  • Cooking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Combine chicken and salsa in a medium bowl.
  3. Spread 1/4 cup black bean dip over each tortilla. Top each evenly with chicken mixture and 2 tablespoons cheese. Stack tortillas in bottom of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated and cheese melts. Remove sides of pan. Cut pie into 4 wedges. Serve immediately.

Breakfast Night

I need to use eggs, so we will do either an egg casserole or scrambled eggs.

Have a great evening cooking with your family.

Chili's Cajun Chicken Pasta

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 4 tsp. cajun seasoning
  • 4 tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 8 oz. cooked penne pasta (drained)
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced (optional)
  • Peas, Asparagus, Peppers, Prosciutto, or your favorite/leftover vegetables  (optional)
  • fresh shredded parmesan, to taste

Quick Version:  Ragu's Roasted Garlic Parmesan sauce instead of the heavy cream & 2 Tbsp of butter.  Skip Step 4 below. 

  1. Slightly moisten chicken with water.
  2. In a large resealable plastic bag, shake chicken and Cajun seasoning until chicken is thoroughly coated.
  3. In large skillet, saute' chicken in 2 tbsp. butter, over medium heat, turning whenever necessary.
  4. When chicken is about half-way done, grab a second skillet and combine heavy cream, 2 tbsp. butter, and remainder of seasonings over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  5. When cream mixture begins to bubble, add the pasta and turn off heat. Stir well.
  6. When chicken is cooked through, place on cutting board and slice into strips.
  7. Spoon pasta and sauce onto large serving plates (2) and top with chicken, diced tomatoes, and Parmesan.
  8. Throw a thick, garlicky slice of Texas toast on that bad boy and enjoy!

Turkey Sausage-Gnocchi Soup

Prep: 1 minute; Cook: 14 minutes
Prep Time: 1 minute, Cook Time: 14 minutes
Yield: 7 servings (serving size: 1 cup soup and about 1 tablespoon cheese)
Source: My Recipes via Cooking Light

  • 1  (4.5-ounce) link hot turkey Italian sausage
  • 2  cups  water
  • 1  (16-ounce) package vacuum-packed gnocchi (such as Bellino or Vigo)
  • 1  (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
  • 1  (14 1/2-ounce) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained and chopped
  • 1/2  cup  (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

  1. Remove casings from sausage. Cook sausage in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until sausage is browned, stirring to crumble.
  2. Add 2 cups water and next 3 ingredients to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 4 to 5 minutes or until gnocchi float to the top of pan. Ladle soup into bowls; sprinkle each serving evenly with cheese.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Meal Plan: 1/16 - 1/22

I would like to send our prayers to the fiancee' and family of Officer Christopher Matlosz who was murdered in NJ this weekend by a 19 y.o. man.  The officer was just chatting with the man who then took a step back and shot the man 3x in the face.

We hope this post finds each of you healthy & having  a great day!

Enjoy your week, Be thankful for your blessings both big & small, Love your family, and don't forget to play with your food!

The Best French Onion Soup Recipe Ever

Ok, so seriously is it just me or are most french onion soups too salty.  I'm hoping this isn't the case!
Hubby's favorite french onion soup is at Lewis & Clark's restaurant in St. Charles, MO.  So, hopefully, he'll enjoy this one, since STC is 4.5 hours away...

We shall see...

Best French Onion Soup Recipe
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

  • 4 lbs yellow onions
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sherry
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • sprig of thyme
  • water
  • salt
  • pepper
  • toasted baguette slices
  • grated or thinly sliced cheese (any combination of gruyere, swiss, jarlsbeg, and parmesan)
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Spray the inside of a dutch oven with nonstick cooking spray, or pour some oil into the bottom and spread it all around with a paper towel. Cut the butter into smaller pieces and scatter it around the bottom of the dutch oven. Cut the onions in half through the root end, and slice into 1/4 inch thick slices from pole to pole. Put the slices of onion into the dutch oven and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt over the top. Cover the dutch oven and place it into the oven for 1 hour.
  3. Remove the dutch oven after an hour and take off the cover (use oven mitts!), stirring the onions and scraping down the sides. The onions should just be starting to brown. Replace the cover on the dutch oven but leave it slightly ajar cook for another hour. Stir and scrape down the sides again, then put it back in the oven with the cover still ajar for another 45 minutes.
  4. Remove the pot and place it on the stove over a medium high heat. Stir frequently and scrape down the sides. After 15 minutes, a dark crust should form at the bottom of the dutch oven. Don’t be alarmed! This is fond, and it’s full of flavor. It can get to be a very dark brown, just watch that it doesn’t get too black or burned. Turn down the heat if necessary. After the fond is formed, pour in 1/4 cup of water and scrape the fond up from the bottom, stirring it into the onions. After the water has evaporated, cook the onions for another 6-8 minutes until another fond crust forms at the bottom of the dutch oven. Add another 1/4 cup of water and scrape it up from the bottom, mixing it into the onions. Repeat this process 4 times in total. The onions will be very brown and soft at this point – that’s a good sign!
  5. After the fourth scraping, let the fond develop one more time, then deglaze with 1/2 cup of sherry. Scrape up all the brown bits and mix it with the onions. At this point the onions should be a very dark, deep brown color.
  6. Pour in 2 cups of water and both the chicken and beef broths. Add in the bay leaf and a sprig of thyme. Stir to combine, then turn the heat up to high. When the soup starts to boil, cover the dutch oven and turn the heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed.
  7. To prepare the soup for serving, toast slices of baguette. Ladle some hot soup into an oven safe bowl and cover the top of the soup with the toasted baguette. Top the baguette slices with cheese. Gruyere is the classic preference but I like to use a combination of jarlsberg and parmesan. Place the bowls of soup on a cookie sheet and side it under the broiler. Watch it very carefully as the cheese bubbles and browns very quickly.
  8. Remove the bowls from the oven very carefully and place on plates to serve. The bowls are super hot so be careful! Let it cool down a bit but be sure to eat it while it’s hot and the cheese is melted and stringy.

Herb Chicken with Honey Butter & Roasted Carrots

4 Servings
Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
Source: Taste of Home 

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup honey

  1. Place egg in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs and seasonings. Dip chicken in egg, then coat with bread crumb mixture.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook chicken in butter for 4-5 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 170°. Meanwhile, combine butter and honey. Serve with chicken. Yield: 4 servings.
Roasted Carrots
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1″-2″ lengths
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 475°.  
  2. Toss the carrots, oil, and salt in the broiler pan bottom.  
  3. Spread the carrots in a single layer and roast for 12 minutes.  Shake the pan to toss the carrots.  
  4. Continue roasting, shaking the pan twice more, until the carrots are browned and tender, about 8 minutes longer.  Serve immediately.

Balsamic-Glazed Pork Chops

Yield: 4 servings
Source: Cooking Light
  • 6  tablespoons  balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  large garlic cloves, minced
  • 4  (4-ounce) boneless center-cut pork chops, trimmed
  1. Place vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, and cook until reduced by half (about 5 minutes).
  2. Place a grill pan over medium-high heat. Combine rosemary, salt, pepper, and garlic; rub mixture over pork. Place pork in pan; cook for 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness, basting with vinegar. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with polenta.

Stuffed Turkey Burgers

Yield: 4 servings
Source: Food Network

  • 1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey breast
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Divide turkey into 4 equal sized rounds. Make 2 equal sized patties out of each round so you have 8 patties total. 
  2. Sprinkle 4 of the patties with 2 tablespoons red peppers and cheese, and top with remaining patties, working the turkey around the edges to seal burgers closed. 
  3. Season with salt and a few grinds of pepper. Grill or broil until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.

Cowboy Steak with Coffee & Chili Rub

Serves: 4
Total Time: 25 minutes
Source: Food Network
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chili powder, or other chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine ground espresso coffee
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 pound shoulder center steak (Ranch Steak), or top sirloin, about 1 1/4-inch thick
  1. Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and preheat it over medium-high heat. 
  2. In a small bowl combine all the ingredients for the rub and coat the steak well on both sides. 
  3. Cook steak for 14 minutes, turning once, for medium to medium-rare. 
  4. Allow steak to sit for 5 minutes before slicing.

Chicken Sausage, Sweet Onion, and Fennel Pizza

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 wedges)
Source: Cooking Light

  • 3  ounces  chicken apple sausage, chopped
  • 2  teaspoons  olive oil
  • 1 1/2  cups  vertically sliced sweet onion
  • 1  cup  thinly sliced fennel bulb (about 1 small bulb)
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  (12-ounce) pizza crust 
  • 3/4  cup  (3 ounces) shredded Gouda cheese
  • 1  tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan.
  3. Add oil to pan. Add onion, fennel, and salt; cover and cook 10 minutes or until tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
  4. Place pizza crust on a baking sheet. Top evenly with onion mixture; sprinkle with cheese, and top evenly with sausage. Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until cheese melts. Sprinkle evenly with chives. Cut pizza into 8 wedges.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hurry Up Chicken Pot Pie

By Paula Deen
Source: Food Network
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper, optional
  • 1 1/2 cups instant biscuit mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 stick melted butter

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a greased 2-quart casserole, layer the chicken, eggs, carrots, and peas. Mix the soup, chicken broth, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Pour over the layers. Stir together the biscuit mix and milk, and pour this over the casserole. Drizzle butter over the topping. Bake until the topping is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes.

Bobby's Lighter Corn Chowder

By Bobby Deen
Source: Paula Deen 

  • 3 strips center-cut reduced-fat bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced 
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 (32-ounce) container chicken stock 
  • 2 russet potatoes, cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (16-ounce) package frozen baby gold and white corn kernels (3 cups) 
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 3 tablespoons fat-free half-and-half 
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Spray a large nonstick saucepan with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until browned, 2 – 3 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain.
  2. Add the onion and jalapeno to the saucepan. Cook, over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour; cook 1 minute. 
  3. Add the broth, potatoes, and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes. 
  4. Add the corn, milk, half-and half. Cook 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cheese and cilantro; sprinkle with the bacon.

Pasta with Bread & Salad

  • Ragu Light Pasta Sauce  (2 serving of vegis in every 1/2 cup of sauce)
    • with ground Turkey
  • Whole Wheat Pasta
  • Spinach Salad
  • Garlic Bread sticks with Balsamic Vinegar & olive oil

Flank Steak with Cilantro-Almond Pesto

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces steak and about 1 tablespoon pesto)
Serving Suggestions: Grilled Asparagus, Vegetable Medley, Salad
Source:  Cooking Light
  • 3/4  cup  fresh cilantro
  • 2  tablespoons  slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
  • 1/8  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1  garlic clove, chopped
  • 3  tablespoons  plain fat-free yogurt
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  fresh lime juice
  • 1  (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
  • Cilantro sprigs (optional)
  1. Prepare grill.
  2. Combine first 6 ingredients in a blender; process until finely chopped (about 15 seconds). Add yogurt and juice; process until smooth.
  3. Grill steak 6 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Serve steak with pesto. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Chocolate Spiced Pork Chops

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 min, Cook Time: 10 min
Serving Suggestions: Salad, Vegi Medley, Applesauce

Source: Paula Deen

  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning 
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder 
  • 1 teaspoon paprika 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper flakes 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • 4 (1 1/2-inch-thick) bone-in pork chops 
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, Italian seasoning, onion powder, cocoa powder, garlic powder, paprika, red pepper, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Rub the mixture evenly over pork chops.
  3. Add the oil to a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and cook for 3 minutes per side. Put the skillet in oven and bake the pork chops until cooked through, about 3 minutes.
  4. Remove the skillet from the oven, transfer the chops to a serving platter and serve.

Homemade Pizza & Movie Night

  • Pillsbury Pizza Dough (coupon)
  • Leftover spaghetti sauce from spaghetti night
  • vegis
  • toppings
  • mozzarella cheese
  • salad
  1. Preheat oven to dough specifications
  2. Heat leftover sauce.
  3. Layer - sauce, toppings & cheese
  4. Bake as directed.
  5. Top with Parmesan Cheese.
  6. ENJOY!
 Red Box Coupons

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Meal Plan for the week of January 2nd - 8th

HAPPY 2011!!!

I'd like to take a moment to say, I'm sorry.  I had last weeks menu all ready to go and scheduled to post on Christmas Day, but it never posted.  I had unique meals to use with leftover meats from your Christmas meal.

I hope you enjoy this weeks menu.  We are looking forward to trying some new recipes!

In last weeks post I mentioned we were going to be eating at Mojitos Tapas and that I would review it.  So, here you go.  First and foremost whatever day you go there, call ahead.  They don't take reservations and you must be there within 30 minutes of your call ahead reservation.  Even with calling ahead we still had to wait, but only a few minutes.  We went on a Wednesday and it was crazy busy!  Thankfully, we were seated in the back room which was much quieter than the front area.  The wait staff is somewhat slow.  We spent $50 on the food and had the following:
  • Queso Fundido (Melted Cheese) – Melted Spanish Tetilla cheese, topped with crispy chorizo and Serrano ham. Served with Blue Dog bread. 
  • 3 Meat Combo:  
    • 18 Month Reserve Serrano Ham  
    • Chorizo Los Palacios 
    • Fuet 
  • Piquillo Peppers – Spanish roasted sweet red peppers stuffed with goat cheese. Topped with crushed Marcona almonds and smoked honey.  (These were our favorite!)
  • Solomillo al Cabrales – Grilled beef tenderloin topped with Cabrales blue cheese, Spanish port reduction sauce served over roasted mashed potatoes.   
  • Raviolo – House made stuffed ravioli with ricotta, capriole goat cheese, chorizo, Serrano ham and marcona almonds. Topped with tomato confit and Manchego cheese.        
  • Churros con Chocolate - House made Cuban style doughnuts served with chocolate for dipping.        
  • Cajeta- Goat’s Milk dulce de leche Ice Cream  
Enjoy your week, Be thankful for your blessings both big & small, Love your family, and don't forget to play with your food!

Gouda-Stuffed Cajun Pork Chops with Caramelized Onions

Servings: 4
Servings Suggestions: Grilled Asparagus
Source: Sargento
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1-1/4 tsp. Cajun seasonings, divided
  • 4 bone-in center cut pork chops, about 1 inch thick
  • 4 slices Sliced Gouda Cheese
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves

  1. Heat oil and butter in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet (wrap handle in foil) over medium-high heat. Separate onion slices into rings; add to skillet. Cover; cook 3 minutes or until onions are wilted and beginnning to brown. Reduce heat, stir onions; cook uncovered 10 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring frequently. Stir 1/4 tsp. of the Cajun seasonings into the onion; transfer to a small bowl and cool at least 5 minutes. (Do not wash skillet.)
  2. Cut a horizontal pocket in the side of each pork chop (or ask your meat retailer to do this for you). Spoon 1 Tbsp. of the onion onto center of each slice of cheese. Fold cheese over onion; stuff in pocket of pork chop and pinch edges together to close pockets. Sprinkle remaining 1 tsp. Cajun seasonings and oregano over chops.
  3. Place same skillet over medium-high heat. Add chops; cook 3 minutes per side or until browned. Spoon remaining onion over chops. Transfer skillet to a preheated 375°F oven. Bake until chops are no longer pink in center, 8 to 10 minutes depending on thickness of chops. Drizzle any juices from skillet over chops.

Grilled Pepper, Onion, and Sausage Calzones

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1/2 calzone and 5 1/2 teaspoons sauce)
Serving Suggestions: Salad
Source: Cooking Light
  • 2 cans (13.8 oz each) refrigerated classic pizza crust
  • 1  Vidalia or other sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices (about 14 ounces)
  • 1  red bell pepper, quartered
  • 1  yellow bell pepper, quartered
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  pound  hot Italian turkey sausage links
  • 1 3/4  cups  plus 3 tablespoons Pizza Sauce, divided
  • 1 1/3  cup  (about 5 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

  1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Coat onion slices and bell pepper pieces with cooking spray. Place vegetables and sausages on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. 
  3. Grill vegetables 4 minutes on each side or until browned; grill sausages 8 minutes or until done, turning occasionally to brown on all sides. Remove vegetables and sausages from grill; cool slightly. Cut onion slices in half; cut bell pepper pieces into 1/2-inch strips. Cut sausages diagonally into thin slices. 
  4. Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 12-inch pizza pan. Unroll 1 can of dough; placing in greased pan. Starting at center, press out dough with hands to edge of pan. Layer ingredients over dough.
  5. Unroll remaining can of dough. Press out dough on work surface to form 12-inch round. Fold dough in half; place over cheese and unfold. Press outside edges to seal. Cut several slits in top crust for steam to escape.
  6. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown. Cut pizza into wedges; serve with warm pizza sauce.

Roast Chicken Chimichangas

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 chimichanga and about 4 teaspoons salsa)
Source:  Cooking Light
  • 2 1/2  cups  shredded roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1  cup  (4 ounces) crumbled queso fresco cheese
  • 1/4  cup  chopped green onions
  • 1  teaspoon  dried oregano
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1  garlic clove, minced
  • 1  (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 1  (16-ounce) can fat-free refried beans
  • 6  (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2  cup  bottled green salsa
  1. Preheat oven to 500°.
  2. Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl; toss well.
  3. Spread 1/4 cup beans down center of each tortilla. Top each tortilla with 2/3 cup chicken mixture; roll up. Place rolls, seam sides down, on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Coat tops of chimichangas with cooking spray. Bake at 500° for 7 minutes. Serve with salsa.

Pork and Stir-Fried Vegetables with Spicy Asian Sauce

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)
Serving Suggestions:  Brown Rice
Source: Cooking Light

  • 1  teaspoon  canola oil
  • 1/4  cup  hoisin sauce
  • 1/4  cup  ketchup
  • 1  teaspoon  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2  teaspoon  bottled minced garlic
  • 1/8  to 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1  (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 2  teaspoons  dark sesame oil
  • 1  cup  presliced zucchini
  • 1  cup  presliced red bell pepper
  • 1  teaspoon  bottled ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World)
  • 1/2  cup  chopped green onions
  • 1  teaspoon  toasted sesame seeds

  1. Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. 
  2. Combine hoisin sauce and next 4 ingredients (through ground red pepper), stirring until blended; set side. 
  3. Add pork to pan; sprinkle with black pepper and salt. Cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan. '
  4. Add sesame oil to pan. Add zucchini, bell pepper, and ginger; stir-fry 4 minutes or until bell pepper is tender. Stir in onions and pork. Add hoisin mixture to pan; toss to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  5. Serve over rice.

Three-Cheese Chicken Penne Florentine

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)
Notes: You can cook the pasta mixture in individual eight-ounce ramekins; bake for 15 minutes.
Serving Suggestions: Spinach Salad & Crusty Bread with Olive Oil
Source:  Cooking Light

  • 1  teaspoon  olive oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 3  cups  thinly sliced mushrooms
  • 1  cup  chopped onion
  • 1  cup  chopped red bell pepper
  • 3  cups  chopped fresh spinach
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1  (16-ounce) carton 2% low-fat cottage cheese
  • 4  cups  hot cooked penne (about 8 ounces uncooked tube-shaped pasta)
  • 2  cups  shredded roasted skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 1  cup  (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2  cup  (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2  cup  2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1  (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed reduced-fat, reduced-sodium cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onion, and bell pepper; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add spinach, oregano, and black pepper; sauté 3 minutes or just until spinach wilts.
  3. Place cottage cheese in a food processor; process until very smooth. Combine spinach mixture, cottage cheese, pasta, chicken, 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, milk, and soup in a large bowl. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake at 425° for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.

Turkey Burgers

Servings: 4
Serving Suggestions: Fries (Regular or Sweet Potato), Mac & Cheese, Salad
Notes:  We are going to make these into sliders.   Add your favorite toppings (cheese, BBQ sauce, grilled onions, bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, etc.)

Source:  All
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 packet dry onion soup mix
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Preheat a grill for high heat.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, soup mix, and water. Season with salt and pepper. Mix lightly using your hands, and form into 4 patties.
  3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill patties 5 to 10 minutes per side, until well done.